Tag: Horror

Bloody Hell

Bloody Hell, mate. That is what British people some times say to their mates right? Bloody hell!

It is just a random exclamation like, “What the fuck?”, “Hot damn!”, or “Weasel balls!”

Maybe Australians say it too, I just know for Americans it is not the way we swear or exclaim.

Will this film take place in Great Britain or Australia? Or will it be a hellish landscape of blood. Only time can tell.

topless
Analysis: After one picture I think this is porn.

Is Rex (Ben O’Toole) a hero or a criminal? Depends on who you ask.

Rex was at at a bank, trying to flirt with a worker, take her out on a date, when some dudes in masks showed up to rob the place, with guns. Things were going poorly, things were dangerous, so Rex took it on his own to just deal with the robbers himself. This surprisingly led him in jail for the way it all went down.

Years later, he is pissed off with the system, but he served his time and he is free to do what he wants. And he wants to leave the country. Go somewhere else, like Finland. But seemingly unrelated, some people capture him and have imprisoned him for…some reason. Damn Finnish people. he now has to use the same tact and guile that got him into prison for saving a bank, to figure himself out of this situation as well.

Also starring Meg Fraser, Caroline Craig, and Matthew Sunderland.

robber
When Dart Maul is robbing banks you know times are tough for Disney.

Bloody Hell has a strange narrative structure and a pretty strange plot. The only thing that really connects the bank scene to the Finland plot involves the thinking of the main character and the level of violence he is able to dish out. But it is not the sort of thing that has to be a big focus for the Finland plot to happen. It does tell the story out of order, so it does keep some suspense in their relation.

And despite the fact that they don’t really matter together, this movie is still really fun.

I enjoyed the main character and his extra personality. Ben O’Toole was really charismatic with this role (eventually, the first bank scene of the movie was a little awkward). He seems like a fun guy, just a bit violent. His conversations with his inner voice is the main part of the film, and it comes across very well. The evil Finnish family isn’t too much special, but there is enough people to serve as fodder for unique kills and violent scenes.

Bloody Hell is not the strongest plot by means, but it keeps the action up for the most part, and doesn’t just feel wasted in its strange premise, like other recent movies that go with this genre. It is a movie that begs for creative death scenes and actually delivers, instead of being a let down like recent films like Ready or Not or The Hunt. Yeah, I will call out both of those films for sure.

3 out of 4.

The Wolf of Snow Hollow

Despite loving the crap out of it, I never ended up reviewing Thunder Road for my website. In fact, I am re-watching it now to get an overall sense for it and how the director/writer/star has evolved.

Let’s back up. Jim Cummings created a movie called Thunder Road, and it was way better than I imagined an indie movie directed, written, and starring the same person could be. Especially if it is someone I hadn’t know at all. Cummings has dealt with a lot of shorts before this film, and has been a producer on various works, and apparently did a movie eight years prior, but this is the first one that likely anyone saw.

It was good, and we wanted more. Apparently the more we get was two years later, with The Wolf of Snow Hollow.


And cops? Is this another cop movie Jim?

John Marshall (Jim Cummings) is a cop. Yes you read that right. A cop. This time in a small resort town somewhere in Northern USA, that does good tourism during the ski season, and is quiet as heck when it ain’t. John is going to be the head Sheriff someday, he has been groomed for it, because his dad (Robert Forster) is the current sheriff, and about to retire. John is a bit more fiery, but he has the heart and spirit to get it done.

And then a woman dies. Not only does she die, but she dies horrifically, with her genitalia ripped out. Oh no. That is graphic. The boyfriend (Jimmy Tatro) reported hearing wolves during that time, and also noted that some local dudes in a bar got feisty towards them, but that is all he knows.

And the town things it was a werewolf. There are people who say they see a two legged wolf running around, and future deaths to more women seem to add more to the mythos. Some in his department believe it, but John does not, and he needs to put an end to this circus quick before the national news jumps on this and makes their town a laughing stock. He also wants to protect his daughter (Chloe East).

With his second in command (Riki Lindhome), John needs to prove that werewolves are not real despite overwhelming evidence, putting his own career and the lives of many on the line in the process.

Also starring Daniel Fenton Anderson, Skyler Bible, Demetrius Daniels, and Kevin Changaris.


Blood is hard to get out of various substances and snow is definitely one of them.

Thunder Road is about a cop having a nervous breakdown on life because he is losing everything he knows and loves: He has lost his mom to death, his wife to divorce, his daughter to divorce, and his job and friends due to his bad ways of dealing with his grief. One breakdown after another.

The Wolf of Snow Hallow is about a cop having a nervous breakdown because of the stresses of the job. He also happens to be a single parent, and close to losing a parent, and lashes out in anger at many things with his rage problems. So there are similarities, but sure, they are different, because the stress of being a cop really didn’t play into Thunder Road, while it clearly did in this movie.

I am weary of someone making roughly the same film over. Jim. Why are you playing a cop again? Do you love cops? Now is not an okay time to love cops. Which they do bring up in this movie too, so it is at least topical in that regard.

But in all honesty, The Wolf of Snow Hollow has a lot going on for it. It gets real stressful, we get long scenes of great dialogue, we get some good montages in this one, especially when it came to a crime happening and the cops investigating the same crime. Jim did grow as a visionary director here and had his movie try new things out.

The story itself is fine, it has twists and turns, but I wouldn’t say it was easy to guess or anything the conclusion towards. Sort of came out of nowhere for me, so I wonder how obvious it was or if I missed anything.

Also if Jim is a cop in the next movie he writes and directs I am going to be pretty sus with him, but still watch the shit out of it.

4 out of 4.

The Stylist

Click HERE to see my interview with the director and HERE to see my interview with the main star of the film!

One of the scariest concept horror movies you could probably watch this year would definitely be about getting a hair cut. Why the battle of the lockdowns started with people protesting hair care, I don’t know. I haven’t had my hair cut since January (and it is a lot of hair now), but I am not dying from it, you know?

In The Stylist, we are going to have people dying from getting their hair cut. Okay, they don’t die from the hair being cut actually, it is usually the other parts of the body that get cut that really does the job.

But maybe the whole movie is a metaphor? A quiet virus waiting to strike in the most unlikely of places? Let’s run with that.

hair cut
Yeah, I’d be nervous with anyone behind me trying to cut my hair.
Claire (Najarra Townsend) is a quiet hair stylist. She is good at her job. People often compliment her skills. She doesn’t force extra small talk, but does what is required. Hell, some people love her for that, because they can do all the talking.

But Claire also, you know, sometimes, if the feeling is right…kills her clients. You know, ones who wouldn’t be repeat customers, or who wouldn’t have people looking for them, and don’t know they are at that specific shop. Thank goodness these women like to say so much personal stuff to someone they don’t know!

Claire doesn’t just kill them though. she does the full descalping, making sure the hair that was cut is preserved and then she can wear it herself! She can pretend to be another person, yay!

The plot of this movie comes about when one of Claire’s normal clients, Olivia (Brea Grant), is in desperate need of a new stylist for her wedding. This puts Claire into her social circle, with new women friends, and into Olivia’s home. What’s a murder stylist to do, you know?

hair head
It would be creepier if she worse the face too, we all agree, right?

As already mentioned, The Stylist potentially picked the perfect time to come out during the virus issues that have plagued the US this year. But really, any movie coming out now has picked a bad time to come out, so it is a hard balance.

The Stylist was based off of a short of the same name, same director and star, and led to a successful crowdfunding campaign to make it into a full film. In this film, we figure out what is going on with this stylist, why does she do the things she does (sort of), and all of this leads to a logical conclusion by the end.

Because it is a logical conclusion, it does take away some of the weight or shock of its impact, but I am a little disappointed in that what is happening can be predicted with ease.

The film shines in its early moments and in the general creepiness of the lead, when she isn’t even going for creepy, but because she is atypical in her actions that is how it comes across, digging her deeper into despair.

I know so little about hair styling for weddings that I had to ask my wife, “Wait, why would someone get their hair done days before the wedding, don’t they sleep and get messed up with pillows?”. Ah test styling. That is a thing.

Overall, this is a film that works well when focusing on the strong lead acting and strange nature of her job and uh….side job?, telling a story that is believable for the most part, but little shocks along the way.

2 out of 4.

One Cut of the Dead

One Cut of the Dead is a Japanese independent film from the last year or years, it is hard to say. It has had a weird road to distribution.

Made with mostly unknown actors and for a ridiculously cheap budget, it made back over 1,000 times its investment, which is a pretty goddamn unheard of percent for movies. I know it was hitting festivals and getting a lot of good buzz, and then at one point it was…put on Amazon!

But, it wasn’t supposed to be put on Amazon. Someone had an older unfinished copy, and just put it on Amazon prime for free. Did you know you can just do that? It is apparently really easy. And one it was on Amazon, many people rushed out to see it, and tell other’s to see it because it was a critical darling. The same day, news came out that the people who own it didn’t upload it, it was unfinished copy, and to please not watch it while it was worked out.

Well shit. That kind of screwed over a lot of things.

Anyways, at this point it is on amazon again, but for money, and the right version. So you can watch it and feel confident someone involved is getting money for it.

camera
Like this guy who is holding the camera!

One man had a vision. Director Higurashi (Takayuki Hamatsu) had the idea for a zombie film, an idea that would be so scary and amazing. But his shitty actors were not giving him enough emotion.

We are talking take, after take, after take, and it just is not good enough for the director.

So while he went to go cool down, and the actors relaxed and got to know each other, normal stuff between takes. But something odd happened. Some sounds from the outside. Some…limbs from outside. Oh shit, real zombies! in the middle of their zombie film!

Now the director can get some real emotions out of his cast.

Also starring Yuzuki Akiyama, Harumi Shuhama, Kazuaki Nagaya, Hiroshi Ichihara, and Mao.

bloody
Those zombies aren’t going to double kill themselves!
One Cut of The Dead is a unique film, there is no one who can deny that. In fact, it is so unique, it is also equally hard to even talk about it because it is a film that should be discovered, not spoiled.

And yes, the idea of spoiling can be kicked around enough, but trust us, the critics, me, when we say, just gotta go in some times to see the journey.

I couldn’t believe what the film managed to do and convey. It is extremely impressive, given the lack of budget or names involved, even from a Foreign film perspective. It required a lot of work. It required planning. And it required people who were creative as fuck. People who really had a vision and executed it perfectly.

One Cut of the Dead is a comedy more than a horror, and it will be hard to find something more unique than it before or after for awhile. Not even an American remake will likely be as unique. [As of writing, no plans for American remake, but sorry for jinxing it should it change in the future].

It is definitely an experience, and I watched it directly after Train to Busan! A very different foreign zombie film that is top notch in very differeny ways. And yet, this one still was able to stand out on its own.

4 out of 4.

Underwater

To start this review, let’s talk about Underwater as a concept.

What does it mean to be underwater? Usually, someone who says that they are underwater means they have water above them. And they are rarely actually under water while speaking, because that is hard to do when surrounded by water.

But if you have water over you, there is a good chance you still have more water under you too. Right? To be under something you really just need to be under a little bit of it apparently. You can be completely surrounded by water, so why would you be so weirdly specific in order to just say you are under it?

Seems ridiculous. Speaking of being ridiculous and not super specific, let’s get on to the review.

swimsuit
Not much water surrounding these folks!

As you will try to read very quickly at the start of the film, as newspaper headlines/taglines/regular lines flash across the screen with the occasional strobe, there are big underwater research/drilling sites. Super big, bottom of the ocean, with drills going far down. Why? Energy or something. And I guess some earthquakes are happening and weird things. But we don’t have time for that.

We only have time for Norah (Kristen Stewart), who is contemplating what it means to exist and sleep and work, when the explosions immediately start rocking the ship. Panic, running, and immediately she helps save the day by blocking the water from blowing up the whole place. Norah, along with some stranglers she meets (Mamoudou Athie, T.J. Miller) make it up to the escape pods, and darn it, they are already gone.

She does meet the captain (Vincent Cassel) and some more crew members (Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr.) and realize they don’t have much time to get out. The top is collapsing. The bottom is flooded. They make a quick plan to descend to the sea floor, get int these sweet underwater suits, and walk a long distance to an older station that should still have some escape pods. It is their only chance.

But what caused the explosions down there? What made the horrible sounds in the last drill recording, what is banging on their walls, and what is out for their blood?

new swim suits
Not great for speed swimming, but good for not blowing up purposes.

I expected Underwater to be much worse than it actually ended up being.

I saw a giant standee for it a few months ago and sent it to my wife that it would be bad. It had T.J. Miller on the standee, third name! What? The Bomb threat guy? The one who beat his girlfriend? The drunk and wants to fight man? Why is he in a movie right now?

Oh, turns out this was made in 2017, before a lot of that, and took forever to come out.

Now surprinsgly, it wasn’t completely terrible. Miller was terrible yes. And the film early on had an issue where it refused to let the audience fully react to scenes or let us see how characters got out of a jam. Quick jumps in time, that gets us through potentially boring struggles I guess? One quite annoying one had them crashing to the sea floor on a ride, hurrying to get the door open to jump, and then the next instant they were all on the sea floor running. What the hell? Where’s my jump?

A lot of the film uses the dark depths and hard to distinguish up/down to its advantage to confuse the viewer. But honestly, the monsters were really a cool design. I love what they did with them. Reminded me of underwater ghost vampires in a way, and sure, Cthulhu in another.

This film gets straight to the point at the beginning, and isn’t a long run time. It is relatively predictable, but it has some sweet visuals that can produce some scares and some relatively fun moments.

2 out of 4.

Climax

I was told a few warnings about Climax before watching it. Not about actual content, but more about the director, Gaspar Noé.

A controversial fellow, Noé has done plenty of films that I have never seen and shorts I have never seen. Apparently Love was very graphic, but I never got around to it.

I can expect a movie called Climax to be graphic. It is sort of there, in the name. I can hear warnings about French film, but that is really hard to put into one box.

No matter the warnings I received, none of them were really enough and none of them could really explain just what I was getting myself into when I decided to finally check out Climax.

showoff
And I felt. fabulous! No, wait. The opposite of that word!

In this movie, we have a few people who are getting a dance troupe together. Selva (Sofia Boutella) is the lead dancer of the troupe, and is working with someone else to pick people for their group and the music. I won’t tag anyone else in it, because everyone else is professional music people/dancers in some way only, and that is why they are in this movie.

The movie opens with a big, long dance sequence in one shot that is interesting, but strange. No wait, before that they show clips from fake interviews with these dancers on questions they asked before joining the troupe. No wait, before that, we see a woman bloody running in the snow. Oh.

After the big dance number, we get to see people talking. People dancing. Some interactions between a few of the characters. Back and forth talks between just pairs, making you really strain to pay attention to the plot point of the film. This is where you get backstory, kind of, sort of! After that confusion ends, we go back to dancing and people interacting.

But, the dancing gets stronger. The people get angrier. The people get weirder. Oh no, someone spiked the sangria and a lot of people are now going on a bad trip.

And then a lot of bad stuff happens the rest of the night, resulting in some deaths, some rape, some deaths, some uncomfortable moments, some sex, some dancing, and some other gross unfortunate terrible moments. Hooray!

dance
Hooray?

I think I definitely did more of a plot description than normal compared to other films. And it feels justified.

There are quite obvious from the conversations early on that seem to be the main focus, and some of the characters who are definitely less of a nice person. The interview portion is completely forgettable after the dance, and probably should be rewatched for clues now that you know the characters better. But it is a huge struggle early on to remember what aspects of what characters were told and are important, with there being such a big cast of dancers and the conversations going so quick.

Now, once the tone shift happens in the film, and everyone starts to get on the bad trip, it definitely gives an uncomfortable feeling to the viewer. Oh no, bad things. And guess what? Basically every bad thing you can imagine happening, based on the earlier conversations and events, totally does happen.

It is very predictable in regards to probably the three worse things that occur in the movie. And this is a wildly gross and sometimes scary film, but having the worst/grossest parts easy to guess seems odd. Basically, if it could go bad, it does go bad.

I will admit, I first just assumed everyone was going to die in some extreme ridiculous ways, and not a lot of people die by the end. But no one is super happy by the end. People have been violated, or killed, or threatened, or raped, and it is just uncomfortable moment after uncomfortable moment. And the whole time we are getting a constant trance background beat, with some characters constantly screaming in the background. We get a power outage and thus, more darkness, a “scarier” hue to the whole thing, and even more bad stuff.

It has a lot of uncomfortable moments, but at no point does it feel worth it. Like you should have to see it, like any character deserves their fate. It is just basic exploitation for the sake of.

And what the hell. There were like, three times in the first half of the film where we got opening credits. I don’t know what was going on there.

0 out of 4.

Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark

There was quite a lot of nostalgic hype for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark when it was coming out. Well put together trailers, books come to life, all of that.

Now, unfortunately for me I never read the stories so I didn’t ride the hype train. Fortunately for me, I am a critic and shouldn’t read the source material first. I definitely read some other non-Goosebump series of stories in 3rd or 4th grade, that had sequels, but I couldn’t recall those titles.

Despite that, it looked really good from the trailers from what I saw. A horror movie aimed at families and kids, without relying on slapstick jokes every other sentence. Kids should have entryways into horror, and this looked like something I would show my own family and creep them the heck out.

house
Ah, a haunted house, how original.
Got a small town? Then you probably got a haunted house.

This small town is like many others. Notably white, jocks can do whatever they want, rampant racism, and more.

So our main group of friends (Zoe Margaret Colletti, Austin Zajur, Gabriel Rush) run into this Hispanic dude from outside of the town (Michael Garza), and because he helped them, they are now best buds.

And so of course they take him to the local haunted house, what else are they supposed to do so close to Halloween? And sure enough, they find a secret passage, maybe a torture room, one with a nice book. So our lead takes the book to read later!

And weirdly enough, the book begins to write stories so she can read a long. This seems to match up with some kids disappearing. Very scary. Oh no, are they all going to die now?

Also starring Kathleen Pollard, Lorraine Toussaint, Natalie Ganzhorn, Austin Abrams, Gil Bellows, and Dean Norris.

hallways
I couldn’t tell you why this was scary, but it did look fun. 
Ahh, stories!

I will give this movie props for one thing. It killed off kids and/or made them disappear forever, and we do not get a resolution out of that. Oh they tease a sequel on trying to fix it, sure, but no in movie resolution. Those. Kids. Are. Dead.

And most of the kids in the movie, outside of the bully, are main characters! They didn’t just kill off a lot of side kids and leave our fab four, no, they were gutted as well. And movies for this age group rarely do that. Since this movie is based on an anthology of short horror stories, they could have done whatever they wanted, and they went the darkest timeline.

And yet, for me, it did bore me a lot at times. The stories were okay. I’m sure they were ones in the book. But they didn’t do a lot in order to make them super relevant to each other or the plot, but instead random happenings and creeps. Some of them were based on their real life town, some based on stories they heard as a kid, and some based on absolutely nothing. They could have done a lot better job at meshing them together.

Overall, this film had a singular goal as far as I can tell, besides nostalgia money. They wanted to scare my kids, and yes, they did succeed at that.

2 out of 4.

Satanic Panic

It’s Spooktober, so it is time to watch a lot more horror movies and actually get off my ass and review them. Especially if those horror movies aren’t super mainstream, because I will be honest, there aren’t really any coming out this month? Where the hell are the horror movies? Is it too cliche to come out in October now?

Satanic Panic came out last month to VOD, and I am surprised it didn’t get a theatrical release. Based on the name alone, it could have gotten a lot of people in the theaters.

Comedy horrors don’t always pack the seats in, and its mostly unknown people, and sure maybe religions groups would boycott, and maybe it wouldn’t get an R rating as easily if it planned to go to theaters. Oh okay, I guess it makes sense to be straight to video.

panic panic
Here is the panic!

Gypsy (Arden Myrin) is just down on her goddamn luck. She has a little scooter, just got a job delivering pizzas, but really has no other assets. She needs money for gas and to build up funds to finally better her life. But it turns out, people suck at tipping and delivering pizza is a lame as hell job.

And Gypsy gets really annoyed when she delivers a really big order to a mansion, and gets absolutely nothing extra. Shit. She is almost out of gas. She can’t find the guy who paid for the pizza, but barges in anyways and sees some sort of meeting going on, led by some sort of inspirational speaker, Danica (Rebecca Romjin). Lot of red.

Next thing she knows, she is locked in a room with some man (Jerry O’Connell). She is going to be part of a ritual? To be sacrified? For a demon?

No way. That’s all made up shit. Rich people are crazy.

Also starring Hayley Griffith, Ruby Modine, and AJ Bowen.

cult
Here is the Satanic!

Satanic Panic is very graphic, as graphic as the name implies it should be. Gore, sex, creepy ritual shit. A lot of deaths and red. It is not something those with the faint of heart would watch. But of course, it is a comedy, the extreme nature of these deaths is part of the fun and the reason you’d want to see.

The characters involved are all okay. They give appropriate levels of freakout and evilness. It is definitely a film where the women are here to shine showcase their talents.

Overall, it is exactly what it set out to be. An enjoyable experience, with a lot of surprise deaths. I will note that being a pizza delivery person appears to be a very unsafe job. We had this VOD film about them, and last year we had another VOD film in Slice. Why do they gotta scare us so much of the time as delivery people? I don’t want to be killed when I am just trying to make a buck.

3 out of 4.

Ready or Not

I was hoping Ready or Not would fill a very specific niche I thought I needed in my life. A movie so graphic and funny and entertaining, I could look past its flaws and just have a good quick night out at the movies.

From the advertising, that is what it looked like it was going for! It had a very strong You’re Next vibe, but with more ridiculous of a plot, and a slight game theme, to tingle my innards. Mostly full of lesser known roles would lead it to be something where many could shine and a lot of creative deaths!

But to be fair, I also assumed that The Belko Experiment would fulfill a similar niche. And it didn’t. The plot was wasted, the deaths (a majority) were boring and just, meh.

So Ready or Not could go either way, I see it!

Gun
Hell, and this image has a nice Evil Dead / Ash vibe going for it.

Grace (Samara Weaving) and Alex (Mark O’Brien) are getting married! They have only known each other for 18 months, but they are in love. And it turns out Alex is from a really, really rich family. Richer than god. Board game things, for hundreds of years, and they are wealthy af.

Grace didn’t know that! She is not a gold digger. And she knows that Alex is not close with his family, but hopes that this wedding and herself can maybe bring them closer together and bring Alex back into the fold. A good idea. They seem mad at her, but she they are having the wedding at their mansion so help appease things.

Well apparently there was just one more part of the deal to be made and everything would be peachy. They just had to gather at midnight on the night of the wedding, and do a ritual game play. And unfortunately for Grace, she drew Hide and Seek, which thanks to that families alleged deal with a devil, they have to hunt her and sacrifice her before dawn. Or else.

Grace thinks this is the worst wedding night ever. We here at Gorgon Reviews tend to agree.

Also starring Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell, Elyse Levesque, John Ralston, Kristian Bruun, Melanie Scrofano, and Nicky Guadagni.

Fam
Something something something in-laws, amirite? 

For a movie with a technically unique and fun concept, it really went out of its way to be as boring as possible for long stretches. Given the concept, we had plenty of points where it could have gone against the grain and it just refused.

Huge stretches in the middle have the entire extended family doing absolutely nothing (Despite starting off trying to do things) and just letting a butler attempt to fetch her. It would be one thing if that is how they started off the search, but they were all involved and then, eh, maybe he can do the impossible and find her on his own (Which should not have been doable) and save the day for them.

And it just dragged and wasn’t exciting. Because we were told that there was a ritual component that she had to be alive for, it also meant that sure, eventually the ritual would happen. It might work, it might not, who knows, but it would never get to the point where she just escapes before dawn. We were guaranteed for a set back for the ritual, and sure enough, a guarantee was made.

Early on it was more exciting, with a varied cast of characters. I do wish it went more quickly into the after wedding affairs, but that wasn’t too bad. The ending was relatively exciting as well, and quite eye popping at times. But then I think back to that middle, where there were so many family members, and how none apparently could be killed besides the occasional helper.

Again, wasted for a bigger climax, but ruined the thrills in the middle.

2 out of 4.

Crawl

Alexandre Aja is not a new director to the horror genre, and yet, so much about Crawl feels like a wonderful first film from a director no one has heard about.

Aja has direct films like The Hills Have Eyes and Mirrors, but his name isn’t well known amongst directors in general. I don’t want to blame the genre, because plenty of directors have become well known for being horror makers.

More recently he did Piranha 3D (so he has experience with the water), Horns (which wasn’t really a horror), and The 9th Life of Louis Drax (which made my top of the year list, but also, not horror). So he has been working a lot, and yet still, Crawl just seems to have come out of nowhere.

Like an alligator lurking in the water.

Gator
That doesn’t look like Wally at all!

Haley (Kaya Scodelario) is a swim star in the collegiate level. She doesn’t win everything, but she has a big drive and wants to win it all. This drive was instilled in her by her father (Barry Pepper), who was her coach, and trainer, and cheerleader, and everything all of her life, because he knew she had a gift and could be something special.

Well, now that she is in college, with parental divorce, and distance, they have grown apart and argue more. And it also turns out there is a Category 5 Hurricane about to hit Florida. Shit, Haley doesn’t even really know about it too much, too focused on her sports. Her sister in Boston (Morfydd Clark. Such a Welsh name!) and warns her, while also noting she has not been able to get in contact with their dad. Maybe she knows something?

Well, Haley doesn’t but she still loves her dad. So she drives the two hours to go and find out where he is at, towards the hurricane, into areas that have been evacuated. She has to get past some lame security and old friends (Ross Anderson), but she finds her dad hurt in a basement, nowhere near his phone. She better hurry and get him to the vehicle before the storm gets worse.

Oh yeah, and an alligator is in the under house area as well, and now they are trapped. And then more alligators. Fuck.

Bathroom
“Shit, shower is in use. Now where will I bathe?” – Alligator, probably.
Crawl had a LOT of positives going for it, and probably one of the biggest surprises of the summer. It is insane how exciting a film is that didn’t even show itself to critics.

The movie has a great run time of under 90 minutes. Although even at that length, I kept being surprised that the movie still had “more to say” and new problems that got in the way to continually cause issues for our leads.

The best part of the ongoing sense of danger is that it came from two sides: The alligators, and the hurricane. A lot of films would focus on just the former and the latter would be an inconvenience, but they made the hurricane itself a big threat and one that continually made things worse for our heroes.

Aja has a lot of creativity in this movie, which looks great and very polished despite being in a pretty gross area. Which does lead to some of the complaints. For example, how clean most of the flood water was, despite being from a pond and hurricane rain water, which is generally not something you’d want to open your eyes in.

Another issue involves the injuries of the characters. It is great that they are not invincible and get hurt along the way. Unfortunately, after that slight inconvenience, it is quickly mostly ignored for the rest of the film. Throw a bandage on it, tie it tight, and continue being a bad ass swimmer or walker or human.

If this film could have accurately had the injuries also matter and gone for a bit of realism in that level, it would have had probably near perfect critical acclaim.

3 out of 4.